When so much effort and strategic planning goes into online marketing, it’s easy to overlook the offline market. While the online marketplace is booming and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, it’s still important for businesses and brands to create offline exposure.
Community exposure and genuine connections can help a business or brand prove its authenticity, which is a major selling point in today’s marketplace. Here, 12 members of Forbes Coaches Council share the recommendations they’ve given clients who want to create offline exposure for their businesses.
1. Gain Maximum Exposure In The Community
To build a business, one must gain maximum exposure. To be visible, one needs to be in the community—speaking at events and conferences (including alumni events), serving as a volunteer to promote commitment to the community, writing articles and circulating press releases, securing media interviews, attending local association and chamber meetings and serving as a subject matter expert at job fairs. – Diane Hudson, Career Marketing Techniques, LLC
2. Address Pressing Social Problems
There is no better way to create positive community exposure for your business than to catalyze your people toward addressing a pressing social problem that is important to the surrounding community. And as your people engage in a holistic systems approach to addressing complex problems in their own community, not only will the business get good PR, but your people will be reinvigorated! – Jonathan H. Westover, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC
3. Serve On A Nonprofit Or Industry Association Board
By serving on a nonprofit or industry association board that complements your business, you will unlock new relationships and raise awareness of your business. People do business with people they know and trust. Board service offers a platform to validate your leadership and your business. – Stacey Staaterman, Stacey Staaterman Coaching & Consulting
4. Create Genuine Offline Connections
Create genuine connections one conversation at a time. The art of offline conversation is about leaving each person you meet with an unforgettable impression. The conversation’s hook should pique the interest of the clients, and it has to be consistent with your coaching niche. Ask yourself this question: “If there is one word or phrase I would like clients to associate me with, what is it?” – Jedidiah Alex Koh, Coaching Changes Lives
5. Write A Book To Share Your Expertise
Write a book related to your business expertise or even about your journey in starting and running that business. This book later becomes a gift for potential clients, a theme for speaking engagements, a way for people in your industry to discover you and a stamp to strengthen your thought leadership and overall profile. Make sure that the book is available in print and not just in digital format. – Vinesh Sukumaran, Vinesh Sukumaran Consulting
6. Join Local Business Organizations
Get involved with local professional business organizations and the Chamber of Commerce in your local area. A great way to increase offline exposure is to become a member of organizations that cater to small business owners. Making connections with established organizations can help forge business alliances and relationships that will increase exposure for your company, brand and yourself. – Lori A. Manns, Quality Media Consultant Group LLC
7. Attend In-Person Networking And Industry Events
In-person networking and industry events are a must for clients who want to extend their reach outside of online presence/interaction. Meeting customers and those in your industry allows you to make personal connections, which tend to stay top of mind, as opposed to relying solely on coming up on page one of Google search results. We judge so much by meeting in person, and this can be your chance to shine. – Kim Neeson, Kim Neeson Coaching | Consultant | Mentor
8. Host A Service Day At Your Favorite Local Charity
Why not take a day and invite your company, constituents and others to participate in a service day, a cleanup day or a day of awareness for something you can rally behind that’s a good cause? This exposure sends the message you need to send about your priorities and values far better than the words in some tweet or press release. Go give publicly. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
9. Offer Local Workshops Or Host Special Events
Build roots in your community, offering workshops or hosting special events for local schools, local community centers or local businesses. Offline connections are made through service and generosity. Getting boots on the ground in your areas’ sports, council, charities, churches and more is a beautiful way to serve that will lead to referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations. – Trish Blackwell, Uncaged Confidence LLC / Trish Blackwell Coaching
10. Serve Your Community
Incentivize other local business owners and establish collaborative efforts that generate a win-win. Lead powerful conversations in your neighborhood—there is no substitute for sincerity, rapport or word-of-mouth reviews. Customers purchase out of necessity and emotion. They remember how you make them feel. Serve intently, and they will always remember you. – Karen Dubi, Flexible Mindset Strategies
11. Meet Your Ideal Client Where They Are
I would make sure the client is super clear about who they want their business to be exposed to (their ideal client profile). Find out where that ideal client goes, what that ideal client does and who else is in regular contact with that ideal client. Then, make plans to “be there” as a speaker, volunteer, sponsor, member or attendee and have a strong elevator pitch and messaging ready to go! – Jeff Klubeck, Get A Klu, Inc.
12. Discuss Your Business In Everyday Conversation
Encouraging raving fans or satisfied clients to make referrals can be an incredibly effective way to receive trusting, highly qualified new clients. Learning to talk about your business as a normal part of everyday conversation also allows people to know who you are and what you do in any real-life networks you are already a part of. – Sunny Smith, Empowering Women Physicians